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In Praise of Hands is a creative collaboration between distinguished artist Naoko Matsubara and prize-winning poet Penny Boxall.

The series of vibrant woodcuts at the heart of the book was inspired by the artist's delight at the busy hands of her baby son and grew into a wider visual exploration of the human hand. Boldly depicted hands, abstract yet representational, are engaged in music, sport, prayer or a variety of creative acts. All convey a sense of joy and wonder, whether capturing a sense of movement or stillness, exploring the symbolism of gestures, playing with form and colour, or expressing a mood or emotion -- energetic, earthy, humorous, disciplined or spiritual.

Penny Boxall's poems, specially written for this series, possess a clarity and playfulness, range of mood and deceptive simplicity that resonate with the woodcuts to achieve a remarkable creative synergy -- a celebration of hands in words and colours.

Dimensions: 15 x 1.2 x 21.4 cm

Published by Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, 2020